Thursday, July 14, 2011
Last July 14, one year ago, I woke up needing to pee. When I got to the bathroom, I was bleeding. Everywhere. Not the bleeding a lot because you cut your finger real deep kinda bleeding. The kinda bleeding that gets stronger and heavier and literally floods your bathroom floor and you fall down because you've already lost too much blood and the medics aren't there yet. In the midst of all that bleeding, a tiny little baby dropped out at my feet, alive and kicking with everything its little body had in it.
Too numb, losing too much blood, and too horrified to know what to do, I sat there, bleeding and trembling, watching that baby twitch and kick and eventually grow still.
Her name is Lilly Grace, and her very short time was one of the most amazing, and most painful, things of my entire life.
Losing a baby is hard. You don't just lose a life. You lose a dream. You lose a part of your future.
I wasn't ready for a baby. I was still dealing with a painful divorce. I was still in school. I had no idea where I was headed next. But big things happen when you least expect them, whether you are ready or not.
I had an amazing childhood. I was surrounded by brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. We had huge imaginations, huge dreams, and huge adventures. Having a baby makes you remember your childhood and brings out special memories and details you don't always think about. The bedtime stories. The Easter picnics. The baby bunnies. The watermelon messes. Hot chocolate by the heater after angels in the snow. Late night giggles at sleepovers. Tractor rides with Papaw. Goldfish in the water fountains at Grandma's. Special presents for good grades or clean rooms. Blackberry stains on bare feet. Thinking about my childhood made me excited with thoughts of my baby's childhood. The books we would read. The trips we would take. The picnics we would eat. The adventures we would have. The memories we would make that someday she would remember and smile at and know how much she was loved.
It's that dream of childhood potential that makes pregnancy both exciting and magical. It's what gives you hope for the future, hope for the little person growing in your body. But when your baby dies, that dream, that future dies with them.
I have dreams about my babies. Laughing, smiling, so full of of life and beauty and love. Sometimes they're running on a beach with other children. Sometimes they're playing with puppies and pulling each other around in a little wagon. Most times, they're riding on ponies with Felichia, with frogs in their pockets and hands full of flowers.
They are safe. They are happy. And they are in a place so much more amazing than any of us can even imagine. But that doesn't make it hurt any less.
It's been one very long year. I've felt deeper pain than I imagined possible. I've felt anger to the point that it physically hurt. I've felt so alone, so confused, so overwhelmed that I wanted to just give up. But every morning I pulled myself out of bed, faced another day, and learned more about myself than I ever really cared to know. I push myself to keep going, even if it's only because each day is one day closer to seeing my babies again.....
(That picture is of a storm cloud over the house when I went home after leaving the hospital. Isn't that awesome?)